EU agency report: Muslims in Europe target of increasing racist attacks

BRUSSELS, May 30 (KUNA) — A report released on Monday by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) said an upsurge in racist and xenophobic incidents was noted in many EU Member States in 2015, fueled by fears over the migration situation and a spate of terrorist attacks.
The report added that Muslim populations in the EU faced intense scrutiny throughout the year some because they were perceived as perpetrators or sympathizers of terrorist attacks, others because they were part of refugee flows seen as threatening safety and security in the European Union.
The FRA presented the annual report to the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs here Monday evening.
“The minorities are not the problems.
They are the victims, the problem lies in inadequate laws,” said the director of the Agency, Michael O’Flaherty.
Asylum seekers and immigrants many of whom are Muslims also became victims of racist and xenophobic incidents, including violent attacks, it said.
Political rhetoric about asylum seekers in many EU Member States made reference to their Muslim religion and the risks this is perceived to pose to the values and traditions of the Union and its Member States.
The year’s terrorist attacks reinforced negative stereotyping of Islam and Muslims as a security threat, partly fueled by concerns over so-called ‘foreign fighters’ returning to the EU, noted the report.
The report estimates that between 5-10 per cent of the foreigner fighters who went from Europe to fight in Iraq or Syria have died, and that a further 10-30 percent left the conflict zone, returning home or being stuck in transit countries.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) based in Vienna helps to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are protected. (end) nk.mb

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